Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Recommendations - February 2018

1. Be a nuisance where it counts. Wise words from the woman the Parkland, FL, school is named after. She must be proud of those kids right now. I am. 

2. Amazon prints for Prime members - Holy crap. Super fast shipping, impressive quality, and very cheap - like less than half of Shutterfly prices even with a 40% off code on that site. I'm impressed. Not so impressed with Amazon still advertising on Breitbart and streaming the NRA Channel. I’ve been hammering them via Twitter private message and called customer service and their legal department three times each. Don’t do this to me, Amazon. Respect what we have together and knock your shit off. 

3. Using what you have - I've been cleaning out my freezers and pantry the past month or so and have made some toss up meals - let me toss this shit together and see what happens - and what's happened has been great. I hate food waste so it feels good to get things moving through the house.

Anything you care to recommend?

Linking up with Lauren & Bre

Monday, February 26, 2018

TWTW - the one with the friends

Friday night dinner at Parx Grill with Frank & Amanda followed by entertainment by the hilarious Jim Breuer, and then we met up with my brother and Aubrey and other friends after. I was in a casino AND out until 11:30 on a Friday. Alert the media. We got home and I shredded chicken for Saturday while MFD washed both couches because of dog poop incidents. People arriving at 10 am Saturday? It's fine. Perfect timing for a poopacalypse.
Up and at it early on Saturday morning. I was out at the store and back, then I finished the shredded BBQ chicken in the crockpot, zucchini pie, and spinach casserole and frantically picked up the house and set up for coffee and breakfast. In a race against the clock, I did not make it into the shower before campaign volunteers arrived so hair washing was sacrificed for the cause. File under: you can't do it all. Team Debbie/me/Bruce were out on the morning and afternoon shift and Bruce got himself a seat at the table numerous times and it was so awesome to see my friend since elementary school Bridget both days this weekend. MFD has had awesome people out to volunteer for him the past two weekends - framily and people we've known forever and some we've just met in the past year. It's very humbling for people to give up their time for you.
Golden Girls Murder Mystery Dinner at the Cock 'n Bull (lol lol lolol) restaurant in Peddler's Village with some fine ladies on Saturday night, including the second night in a row I hung out with Amanda. The dessert was of course cheesecake because GOLDEN GIRLS. The poor three women sharing the table with the six of us were subject to poop and vomit stories as well as aggressive adult stories. At one point they were literally silent with their mouths hanging open.
Sunday I was up and out by 8:30 to DD then to visit my most adorable niece and nephew then off to ShopRite to pick up a few things. Another race against the clock to clear the kitchen from the day before, wipe down the bathrooms, get towels going, and pick up the house before volunteers arrived. I barely made it and definitely no shower until 2 pm so they saw me in all of my day old makeup and t-shirt glory. Bruce ate a coaster and made an enormous fucking mess while I was showering. I made soup for volunteers and did some campaign work while I stared at my book wishing I was reading it. I did finish it Sunday evening.  Oh and I painted my janky chipped nails before the Golden Girls Saturday night (Essie Swept Off My Feet and Essie Penny Talk).

Weekly food prep: lol. TBD. Maybe next weekend. 

Was it even the weekend? How was yours?

Happy birthday to my mother-in-law today! 

Friday, February 23, 2018

This week was

Slow and fast
Sunny and gloomy
Dry and wet
Warm and cold
Agitating and soothing
Too much and not enough
Gun fetish defending and lines in the sand
Two free nights and three booked nights
Two and a half books read and lots of public art seen
Straw person bad hair turned back into good hair (thanks Kristi)
Lots of exercise and lots of sweets
Bella lipsense and Sassy Z lipsense
Missed opportunities on car purchases and caught breaks almost everywhere else
Many emails with shore renters but no emails to our plumber to open the house yet
Campaign mania and periods of quiet
Early to bed but late to fall asleep

No rest for the weary this weekend - more campaigning and fun nights with friends tonight and tomorrow - so I'm going to try to carve out some time for myself on Sunday. I hope you find some time for yourself too, even if it's an hour. 

Happy Friday! Happy birthday to my bonus grandpop Pete today and to little Natalia tomorrow! 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - come Senators, congressman please heed the call

1. Philly took off its winter coat and sashayed itself around on Tuesday and Wednesday and I took full advantage. Tuesday I walked up to the Art Museum to see two of the MLK Keep Marching busts painted by students (I think these two are from CAPA and Overbrook School for the Blind) and what I consider to be one of the best views of the city.
2. I hit the library on the way back. Look at me with a nonfiction book! I started it Tuesday night and I actually love it - it reads like fiction. Sorry for the jacked up photo in which I tried to get Robert Indiana's AMOR as well as the library (the building in the background on the left) AND the books in the shot without standing in the middle of the sidewalk. Fail.

3. I didn't want to stand in the middle of the sidewalk because people forgot sidewalk etiquette over the winter. To review: If you are walking six people abreast on a large sidewalk and a person comes at you, you do not make the single person step on the freaking grass to go around. Some of you fall back. And if you are on a smaller sidewalk pushing two strollers side by side, same thing. One of you fall back into a single file line. Sidewalk hogs! Single file line!

4. Yesterday I walked 20 minutes down to the acupuncturist and 20 minutes back. It was sunny and glorious and I ran into some murals along the way on Pine Street, which are my very favorite things to run into. Both are part of the Mural Arts program. The left is Spring by David Guinn and the right is part of the Famous Franks by David McShane.

5. This week in dog town: Gus is snuggly, Mae is surly, and Bruce Springsteen really wants to drink out of straws.

6. I couldn't get it together to do this so thank you Kim. Please read Kim's post Safe, Loved, and Warm - where do the guns fit in? Also for your consideration, this post by a Parkland father that contains a quiz at the end to see if you are a gun fetishist or sociopath. If you are someone who regularly runs to the Internet to defend guns in the wake of a mass shooting, please, do take the quiz. 
7. Action makes me feel better, how about you? Things you can do: Write a letter to students (see below). Support them in any way you can by showing up on March 24 for the March for Our Lives in DC or a city near you (Sister Marches are still populating - this is student led action and a little slower to organize than adult action). If you are an adult, do NOT to take over and shape or direct this action from students but instead follow their lead. Be aware of/supportive of the March 14 National School Walkout organized by EMPOWER Youth, the youth component of the Women's March, that happens on the one month anniversary of Parkland. Be aware of/supportive of the April 20 National School Walkout on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting - many students are wearing orange so that's a good way to show support. On March 14 the plan is for them to walk out for 17 minutes at 10 am and on April 20 the plan is to walk out at 10 am for the remainder of the day. Get involved with your time or your money - check  out Everytown and Moms Demand Action (for non-moms too). Don't spend your week defending guns as if they are people when there are actual people involved here and they're children and some of them are dead and others watched or were crawling around on floors thinking they were going to die too. Just don't. If you want to talk to someone sympathetic to protecting guns over kids, call up a Congress person who's taken the NRA's blood money. They're not too hard to find. 
8. LOL and yes, true. 

9. Reminder. Thanks GenaHo! Breathe. Allow for a little space.

10. E-card of the week

Peace out.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Three Reasons Why You Should Keep Studying as An Adult

Happy Wednesday! It's feeling spring-ish in Philly today even though the skies look like doom. 

This was contributed by Maggie Hammond, a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organisations. When you don't know about it, give someone else a chance to write about it, am I right? 


A lot of people miss their college or high school days, but usually not for the long study sessions, critical teachers and tight assignment deadlines! However, staying in some form of education as an adult, for instance doing online courses, night school or evening classes in a topic that interests you, can have a lot of benefits once you have finished full time education and ventured out into working life.

Here are three reasons to keep on with your education as an adult:

Faster Career Progress and Better Options

If you enter a company after college with a good graduate level position, you may think all you need to do to move up the career ladder is work hard and stick with it long enough. However, you can gain a real competitive edge over others and move up the ladder faster if you are still learning and gaining qualifications on the side. Doing a master’s degree in your spare time with an online university like Rutgers can be a great way to achieve this.

You will also have better options if you decide to change careers later on. If you have more strings to your bow in terms of certifications and skills, moving to a new career path, for instance if you want to work different hours to fit around future children, or your original career becomes less in demand in the future, will be much easier. You could even use your education background as a way to become an educator yourself.

Goals and Achievements

People tend to be more motivated when they have goals they are working towards, and these don't always pop up naturally in normal working life. If you are studying something, you always have a way to monitor progress and set targets, whether they are ones that come with your study like attaining your masters with Rutgers University online, or with the results, for instance being able to converse in Spanish because of the learning app you've been using.

You Don't Lose Your Learning Skills

The human brain is very good at learning, and this is the case for adults as well as children. However, many people just get out of practice at studying and remembering new information, which is why some believe only kids' brains are wired for this. If you stay in the habit of studying and picking up new things, this will serve you well in everything you do, so you won't feel bewildered when you have to learn how to use the new system being rolled out at your office or research all of the things you can't eat when you are pregnant if you decide to have a baby!

Learning has also been shown to help keep the mind active and young, and may even make you less likely to suffer from dementia in old age! With all of these advantages there is really no good reason not to consider adult education an important part of your life.

Have you studied as an adult or considered it?

See you here tomorrow for Thursday Thoughts like every Thursday since 2011. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Shit I've Gotten Weird About

1. Organic coffee creamer. I will go to a separate store if the store I'm in doesn't have it. In order for that statement to have weight, you should know how much I hate to make another stop for something if I'm already in a perfectly good store. I want it in my fridge yet I never even think about it when I'm drinking coffee out. I'm perfectly happy, sipping away. I know, it makes no sense.

2. The color of my coffee. Let's just get the coffee shit out of the way. If I am out and purchase coffee and it's too light, I will hand it right back. I'm paying for it. Make it my color. I'm not rude about it, but I'm getting it my color.

3. Blankets. They have become the new water/book/sunglasses, which are the three items I always have with me. I don't want to go anywhere without one.

4. Laundry powder. I used to worship at the altar of Gain. I could not get enough of Gain products. Almost a year ago I started dabbling in more earth-friendly laundry powders that could be purchased. I am not interested in making my own laundry detergent although I have tried to convince myself that I am many times. I’ve tried a shit ton and my favorites are Bianca del Mare's Natural Laundry Powder and Molly's Suds. Both are better for the environment and they do a great job of cleaning clothes. I scent my laundry with essential oils on dryer balls.
5. Straws. I carry stainless steel straws in my purse and if one isn't in there, I go without. Bruce likes them too.

6. Balance. If I feel my life is out of balance, I am Quick Draw McGraw cancelling shit or getting rid of interactions with people who suck to get it back in check. If someone tries to pushes me to do something I don't want to do because it interferes with my balance, I will push back and not nicely.

7. Deodorant. I used Secret Clinical for years and swore I would never use anything else. Never say never. Last winter I switched to Tom's Lavender. And I haven't sweat to death or stunk anyone out so I've reversed my stance on more natural deodorant.

8. Soap. I refuse to buy packaged soap. I want it made, damn it.  I usually stock up at the shore from Blue Lotus (favorites are Saltwater Driftwood year round and Satya for winter), L.E.H. Soap Company (favorites are Jersey Girl, Rosemary Mint, and Peppermint; MFD uses Gentlemen Only), or Bianca del Mare (favorites are orange blossom and sandalwood, her soaps are palm oil-free), but recently bought some from a high school friend on Etsy via her shop Green Lotus Essentials (favorite is lavender & rosemary, her soaps are palm oil-free as well). Store made soap has a lot more shit in it and lasts longer but these soaps make my skin feel better and don't dry it out. I can use them in lieu of shaving cream too. I have even managed to break MFD of his store soap dependency. That was pretty easy given that I'm the buyer of such things but he stopped whining about missing the store bought soap quickly.

9. Having too much when I know people are out there with so little. Don't get me wrong - I like my things. I always have and I always will. I'm not a minimalist or a capsule wardrober. But in the past year or so I've really started to look at what I own and why. And thinking if I don't buy things I don't need in the first place, I'll be in a better position to help more people who literally have nothing. What is life if we don't continually examine how we live and why we live that way? I am still 100% a treat yo'self woman, but I'm more mindful of purchases now...and where I make them.

10. Under eye concealer. It's called being almost 41 + this wretched trump administration, okay? When I don't use it I am The Crypt Keeper. I switched my under eye concealer methods thanks to Sara's recommendation. While I am all for under eye concealer as mentioned above, I do not filter my face in photos. And I don't wear face makeup. Here I am. LOL.

What shit have you gotten weird about?

Monday, February 19, 2018

TWTW - the one with the canvassing kickoff

Bruce got the snip snip of the balls on Friday, so I worked from home to drop him off at 9 and pick him up around noon. He did very well. After work I got my weekly flowers and produce at Produce Junction, hit Target at night, cut up veggies and we had pizza for dinner. We got like four hours of sleep on Thursday night so we were zombies.

Saturday up and early to make a vegetarian dish and set up for MFD's first day of gathering petitions. He had awesome volunteers show up to pound the pavement and even though you're only approaching fellow democrats for signatures to get him on the ballot in May, it takes a long time because maybe three people out of 10 answer their door. So, if anyone can give up a few hours on Saturday or Sunday or even weekdays now until March 5, please consider volunteering to get petitions signed! Everyone works in pairs and you're basically asking friendly people for signatures. It's exercise, you can hang with my dogs, and I'll feed you. Team Debbie and I will be back out again on Saturday. If you're local, contact me at lifeaccordingtosteph@gmail.com and I will pass your info along to his campaign manager! The main requirement is being a registered dem in PA. Bonus points for being a registered dem in the 170th district.
Our house was headquarters from about 10-6 so once everyone left and MFD went to an event downtown this introvert chilled the fuck out, finished a book, and started a new one. Extra chill due to what I sincerely hope is the last snowfall of this season. Nails this week are Essie mochachino.
Sunday was more canvassing, but a pretty regular day for me doing laundry, changing the sheets, reading,relaxing, and policing Bruce Springsteen who now jumps up on the coffee table from the ground. I did get to catch up a little with our friend Lynz who came to help MFD.
Weekly food prep: Breakfast is egg muffins with baby bellas and extra sharp cheddar, snack is oranges and bell pepper strips, lunch and dinner are leftover roast beef and vegetarian pasta dish along with potato salad from Sunday until that runs out, then taco soup. I also made elderberry extract

I hope you had a great weekend. I am not off today, I am not off most bank holidays. Are you?

I have zero plans for blog posts for the week so let's see what happens, shall we? 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Crawling towards the spring line

No matter how I try to set up my Februarys, every year without fail by the middle of the month I feel like a rat in a cage.

February is the opening of lines of You Can Call Me Al.
A man walks down the street
He says, "Why am I soft in the middle now?
Why am I soft in the middle?
The rest of my life is so hard
I need a photo opportunity
I want a shot at redemption
Don't want to end up a cartoon
In a cartoon graveyard"
Bonedigger, bonedigger
Dogs in the moonlight
Far away my well-lit door
Mr. Beerbelly, Beerbelly
Get these mutts away from me
You know I don't find this stuff
Amusing anymore 

I feel like I'm ready to burst or run screaming through the streets or let my crazy out in front of god and everybody.

Aside from the lack of light and black ice, I don't even dislike winter. I think it's just that by the end of February I'm looking for the rebirth of the world around me. I want to feel the sun on my skin, walk barefoot outside, be outside for longer periods of time, not wear a heavy jacket, bare my ankles to the air, all that jazz. I want to go back to the shore.

That's where I am today, and I'm just stopping in here to give you this sugar to add to your coffee because there's nothing worse than when people act like there’s always sunshine in their soul. There’s not and sometimes I’m a troll for no world changing reason. 

I'm dreaming of the day I will arrive on spring's doorstep, fall down to the ground weak and battered by February's bullshit, ready to be healed slowly by the fresh, new air.

It's coming. 31 days. We’re gonna make it.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - imagine all the people, living life in peace

1. I've officially started counting down until my birthday (28 days) and monitoring nightly shore temps to see when we can open the house again. Please enjoy these Ides of March cupcakes I found on Pinterest.

2. I also submitted the paperwork to adopt our beach at the shore! I am so fucking excited about this, you'd think it was about winning the lottery instead of picking up trash. I put both of our names on the sign even though I didn't tell MFD about it until after I submitted it and he will likely never participate in the clean ups. He's running a campaign, he's got other shit to worry about (click here to donate).

3. Typically how I fill in Thursday Thoughts is I set up the list and will update with a tidbit that I will go back in and expand on on Wednesday night. This Wednesday, this is what that looked like at 6 pm.

4. Part of that is due to my feeling that it was just Sunday and I was sharing weekend things and now it's Thursday and I have nothing to show for the week because I have spent most nights in a Goldberg haze and I'm following the real Beverly Goldberg on Twitter and looking up what the family is doing now and this is why I don't binge watch things often. I lose time on completely inconsequential shit.

5. I have wanted to do this for years. I finally did it and fucked up all the WiFi things in the house but I don't care because my main internet is called Kellerman's and my 5G is called Johnny Castle. I changed it at the shore too, it's Thunder Road down there. I've needed the small triumphs this week.

6. The 40/40 started yesterday. I almost forgot all about it. 40 minutes of exercise for 40 days during Lent. Sundays or day of your choice off if you want. Doesn't matter what it is and it doesn't all have to be together. I started yesterday by walking at lunch and running errands while I did that.

7. I haven't had nail polish on my toes since October? I had major discoloration every time I took nail polish off so I just left it off. I think I'm ready to get back into it.

8. Every week I think I cannot possibly hate this republican administration more. Every week I am wrong. For your attention/consideration this week: Even if you think you know what immigrants can and can't do, and how they can become citizens, please read this (it will take you to a public FB status; this op/ed from two known nonpartisan writers at The Atlantic that contains the frank statement that a certain form of partisanship is now a moral necessity as the Republican party as an institution has become a danger to the rule of law and the integrity of our democracy; Sessions, the top lawyer in the land and also a racist fuck who has shown his racism many times, spoke of the "anglo-American heritage of law enforcement" because he's (one more time) a racist fuck who owns stock in private prisons and has contributed handily to the mass incarceration of brown people and I can't fucking believe he's still in that position and everyone is okay with it; this fire column from Rob Porter's ex wife who he abused - once again for the fucking world, this president is an abuser and knowingly hires abusers and they are all very fucking anti-woman, even the women. Also, for those of you with your heads still up your asses simpering things like why don't women come forward why don't women report things why don't women leave first, let me invite you to shut the fuck up and second, they don't come forward because when they do there are many people like the president and chief of staff/former military man John Kelly knew and didn't care...and despite overwhelming evidence from THREE WOMEN, the president still tweeted about how they were allegations that were going to destroy HIM. The man. The beater. I truly cannot explain my fucking rage over this.

9. Reminder: Thoughts and prayers aren't doing a damn thing for the kids gunned down in Florida yesterday. Year after year, shooting after shooting, America sits here and says it's people, not guns; it's mental illness; what about the criminals with guns?!; all it takes is a good guy with a gun and other tired bullshit as they stroke their shiny guns and worship at the altar of the gun while our children lay dead in school hallways. Meanwhile this does not happen in our  peer countries.Those countries also have people, mental illness, criminals with guns, and guns. They have much stricter laws and don't fetishize guns like we do here. It is disgusting and disgraceful and because the NRA owns so many congress people it is also a political issue. We care more about our guns than the children of this nation. What are we fucking doing here? Does it have to happen to you and your family personally before you are moved to drop the tired replies, speak up about the NRA's hold on our government, and demand change? Check out Moms Demand Action and Everytown. Get involved. It starts with us.

10. Ecard of the week:

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

10 more ways to speak my love language

In case no one hits you up on this Hallmark holiday, I see you. I think you have a lot to offer the world just being who you are. Your mere presence in this life is valuable.

The title of this post is not referencing the actual five love languages - although mine is acts of service in case you're interested (ie cut the talk and DO SOMETHING, so fitting to my personality) - but more pedestrian ways you can speak my love language.

1. Produce brownies that are fudgey, not dry and cakey.

2. Be a feminist in the true sense of the word -  be for ALL women, not just those in your race or class or religion and not just those who would make the same choices you would make in every circumstance.

3. Play Bruce Springsteen.

4. Tell me and the world about a cause that means something to you.

5. When I say no or I can't, leave it at that.

6. Don’t crowd me on the beach and don’t feed the freaking seagulls.

7. Embrace your weirdness and let your freak flag fly. We are all a little weird if we're honest with ourselves. I love weird things and people.

8. Respect my need to recharge alone after time with people.

9. Know I like to stand still and enjoy my ice cream cone, not walk while eating it.

10. Be prepared to discuss Dirty Dancing in depth as if the people are real. But don't expect me to be out on dance floors for real.

What are some ways people speak your love language? If this post sounds familiar, you might have read it before.

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